Nominations will close on 26 February, 2024 at 11:59PM EST

 About the Equator Initiative and the Equator Prize

The Equator Initiative is a United Nations-led partnership that brings together governments, civil society, grassroots organizations, and businesses to foster resilient communities by recognizing and advancing local nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The Equator Initiative creates opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practices, develops capacities of Indigenous peoples and local communities, informs policy through convening multi-stakeholder dialogues, and fosters enabling environments to replicate and scale up community action.

The Equator Prize 2024 will be awarded to outstanding Indigenous peoples and local community initiatives that advance innovative nature-based solutions for sustainable development, in alignment with the newly adopted Global Biodiversity Framework. The winners will join a prestigious network of 285 leading community-based organizations from around 89 countries that have been awarded the Equator Prize since 2002. Each Equator Prize winner will receive USD 10,000 and will be supported to participate in a series of policy dialogues and special events in the fall of 2024.

Equator Prize 2024 Theme:  Nature for Climate Action

This year’s Equator Prize will recognize innovative initiatives that showcase how action on nature, led by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, can provide effective climate solutions, and demonstrate effective pathways to transform our global systems for people and Planet. Winning initiatives will be honored for their successes in protecting, restoring, and/or sustainably managing nature for nature-positive development outcomes.

Thematic priorities include:

  • Nature for Climate Mitigation. Actions to protect, conserve and restore forests, mangroves, peatlands, soils, oceans, and marine ecosystems. This includes actions to:
    • Maintain intact ecosystems as they sequester better - forests, mangroves, peatlands and soils are the greatest natural carbon stores
    • Uphold Indigenous Peoples’ land tenure, governance, rights and traditional knowledge as they are essential to protect forests and key ecosystems
    • Protect and restore ecosystems as an urgent priority
    • Achieve forests’ protection through participatory monitoring and mapping at large scale
  • Nature for Climate Adaptation and Resilience. Actions to integrate nature into planning for water security, food security, disaster risk reduction, enhanced livelihoods and community resilience. Building climate resilient food systems, and developing regenerative agriculture and forestry practices to adapt to climate change. This includes actions to:
    • Transform our food systems to be more climate resilient, less carbon-intensive and adapt to climate change
    • Build community resilience as key to adapt and tackle disaster risk reduction
    • Tackle water security since it is key for life - protecting and restoring ecosystems is critical for water at all levels, including continental
    • Protect nature to ensure disease prevention
  • Nature for a Just Transition. Actions to green the economy in a way that is as fair and inclusive as possible to all society, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities, creating decent work opportunities and leaving no one behind. Showing how solutions led at the local-level can contribute to a global value shift, including an economic and finance shift. Harnessing circular economy and reusing materials to reduce the need for resource extraction and minimize pressure on wildlife and threats to biodiversity. Shaping a nature-positive future by rethinking business as usual as an opportunity to sustainably manage and regenerate nature and catalyze zero-carbon economies. This includes actions to:
    • Show that Indigenous Peoples and local communities can create and lead successful enterprises
    • Prove that effective local green solutions can reduce inequalities, improve livelihoods, enhance responsible production and consumption, create inclusive, resilient and zero-carbon economies, while bringing health benefits
    • Demonstrate that micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) show viable solutions to climate and opportunities for nature regeneration and economic transformation
    • Initiate new models of climate finance and funding mechanisms can be put in place to fund resilience, adaptation and climate action
    • Respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights as essential to building a new sustainable and thriving economy

Special consideration will be given to nominees championing youth and women-led climate action.

Local nature-based solutions for sustainable development

The Equator Prize 2024 nomination process offers community-based initiatives the opportunity to share their work on the Equator Initiative’s web portal of local nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The platform connects communities around the world and shares local solutions that work for people and the planet. Participation in this platform is optional when submitting nominations for the Equator Prize.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Equator Prize 2024:

  • The initiative must have been in existence for at least three years, and/or the actions taken must have been in place for at least three years.
  • The nominee must be either a local community-based initiative, operating in a rural area, based in a country receiving support from the United Nations Development Programme (for a list of eligible countries, please click here); or an initiative led by Indigenous peoples in any country, operating in a rural area.
  • The actions taken by the nominee must be nature-based and must deliver benefits related to two or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Selection Criteria

Equator Prize 2024 winners will be selected by an independent Technical Advisory Committee, which will assess nominations based on the following criteria:

  • Impact: The extent to which the nominated initiative has resulted in measurable and positive environmental, social and economic impacts that deliver benefits towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Innovation: The extent to which the nominated initiative demonstrates new approaches and models that overcome prevailing constraints, and could offer fundamentally new approaches to adapting to and/or mitigating climate change, while advancing local sustainable development;
  • Scalability and/or replicability: The extent to which the nominated initiative could be scaled up sub-nationally or nationally and/or, the extent to which the initiative can be replicated within the country and beyond;
  • Resilience and Adaptability: The extent to which the nominated initiative demonstrates adaptability to environmental, social and economic change, and/or resilience in the face of external pressures;
  • Reduced inequalities: The extent to which the initiative reduces inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic or other status, in particular for the poor;
  • Social Inclusion: The extent to which the nominated initiative includes youth, elders, indigenous peoples, and other diverse groups in the decision-making processes and the actions that affect them;
  • Gender Equality: The extent to which the nominated initiative is led by women or ensures the equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Please Note:

  • Nominators are encouraged to quantify results and include data that demonstrates positive impacts in their submissions.
  • Nominations may be submitted either directly by the initiative or community, by a partner organization, or by any third party that is sufficiently familiar with the activities and achievements of the initiative or community.
  • Nominators must indicate whether they agree to have the solution highlighted in the Equator Initiative web portal on local nature-based solutions for sustainable development.
  • Nominated initiatives will undergo a verification process that may require nominees and/or nominators to provide additional information and/or materials.
  • Nominations may be submitted in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish. To nominate in other languages (such as Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Russian or others), please contact the Equator Initiative for instructions.
  • Nominations must be submitted by 26 February 2024.

Nominations may be submitted through our ONLINE NOMINATION SYSTEM. If you are having technical issues, please contact us at prize@equatorinitiative.org.